Inspiration and Sliding Doors Moments

We were sad to hear of the death of the Duke of Edinburgh today. There are few other people alive who have had personal experience of the world and the people at the highest level of government as the 99 year old Prince. 

However, it was his impact at grassroots level that really impressed me as a 14 year old.

Like many schoolchildren in the UK I took part in the Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme with first of all the Bronze award at school. 

My community service was to serve tea at the local hospice, an experience which was so valuable and I still remember some of the lovely people I met there. I'm not sure many people had wine-making as their hobby but I justified it on the basis of it being quite technical! I learnt how to plan a walk, hang wall-paper and play golf! 

From that small seed my experience of walking and expeditions grew and at University I joined the Duke of Edinburgh Society becoming Treasurer and Expedition Leader in my last year. I'm proud that I trained four others who then achieved their Duke of Edinburgh Gold Expedition Awards in the wilds of Snowdonia.

So my topic this week is how sometimes planting a seed is all we need. On our Facebook Live this week I'll talk about the importance of influencers, inspirational people and sometimes the sliding doors moments that lay the ground for changes of direction.

We'll also be covering the Horizontal Spool Pin - what is it, when you need it and why. Do you have some lush threads in your sewing drawers that have never been used? Perhaps you have some gorgeous metallic or thicker threads and don't know how to use them? Using two or even three threads through one needle is possible on the Handi Quilter machines. We'll show you how to do that using the Horizontal Spool Pin.

Special Offers for this week will be announced on Facebook Live - so do join us - click the link below to go to our Facebook Live Event. Or watch it afterwards on our You Tube Channel.

So, in this week's Facebook Live we talked about the Duke of Edinburgh who sadly passed away on Friday 9th April 2021. We managed to segway from the Duke to quilting via the Award Scheme. In reflecting on this week's sad news, I realised I actually have always preferred to help others along their journey than to travel along the accolade route myself. I did the Gold Expedition but never completed the whole Gold Award although my friends did. This pattern seems to have repeated itself as I realise I've been an Expedition Leader for the DofE Award Scheme at Manchester University, taught Capacity Planning and Performance Tuning at IBM, became a Scuba Diving Instructor in the Cayman islands for a few years and now teach about quilting! So, as part of that teaching we covered the horizontal spool pin in this Facebook Live, we talked about how the hammock also fits the Loft Frame (great if you have pets) and demo'd how you can sew with up to three threads through one needle. A needle threader is probably a good idea! We hope that you enjoy! Our Showroom opens up on the 12th April 2021 and we look forward to the return of in person demonstrations! Whoop! Whoop!


A few weeks ago I showed a quilt that was from the start of my quilting journey. I found some old photos and so here we have from around 2000 my completed quilt at the workshop that was quilted later (many years later) on a Sweet Sixteen. This is with Marianne Fons and Christine Porter.

Tesellations Quilt with Marianne Fons and Christine Porter

At the same Cabot Conference organised by Christine Porter I met Caryl Bryer Fallert and bought this wonderful wallhanging - it has hand-dyed fabrics and matching hand dyed thread. At the time Caryl was representing the time she spent doing a West to East flight schedule as an air hostess and this represented going East and West and back again.

Liz Holpin with Caryl Bryer Fallert

The Cabot Conferences were a great way to learn skills from top teachers from around the world. This is from one where Harriet Hargrave taught free motion machine quilting. We travelled to Waterford in Ireland (complete with transit van packed with quilting supplies). It was so much fun!

Harriet Hargrave and Carol Leibzeit with Christine Porter in Waterford, Ireland

Taking classes with experienced quilters, finding your muse and just doing it would be my recommendations for anyone who wants to move forward on their own learning curve.


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